An antique locomotive, famous world-wide for its starring role in The Railway Children, will steam along the tracks of a heritage railway again after 20 years in the doldrums.

The Green Dragon, which featured in the classic film shot around Keighley, will start to pull passengers again on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, where the movie was filmed in 1970 - this time in its original black and red livery.

It is back on track thanks to Bradford businessman Roger Bowers, boss of a measuring instrument engineering company in Thornton, who set up a trust to purchase and restore the engine.

He said: "I celebrated my 50th birthday on the line and liked it so much I decided to put some sponsorship into the railway. I'm a sentimental enthusiast who enjoys the railway and an admirer of our engineering heritage."

Railway chairman Graham Mitchell said the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Co engine had been in storage on the line for about 20 years.

Mr Bowers wanted to see the engine running again and he invested a substantial amount of money into the venture and the Bowers 957 Trust was set up.

He said: "The engine was sent away to the Severn Valley Railway for restoration. We could have done it at Haworth but it would have been difficult to fit into the schedule and to have got it ready to return to traffic in 1999."

The engine's return is featured in the newly published Keighley & Worth Valley timetable.

The timetable also has information about enthusiasts' weekends to be held in May and October and vintage train journeys in April, May and October. Thomas the Tank engine will visit the line in June and September and there will be diesel weekends in July.

It has train times for every operational day in 1999 and a detailed map of the Worth valley featuring the Railway Children Walks and details of special events.

Copies of the leaflet are available from all KWVR stations, at Keighley town hall and Haworth Tourist Information Centre or by post from Haworth Railway Station on 01535 645214.

Famous railway clock is stolen

An historic clock, valued at about £300, has been stolen from the booking hall of a heritage railway.

Police are hunting the thief who smashed through a wooden panel in the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway station booking hall door in Keighley and snatched the clock from above the open coal fireplace.

The turn-of-the-century timepiece was made in Keighley and the name of the manufacturer, Jefferson & Son Keighley, is written across the face.

Railway Society chairman Graham Mitchell said: "This was a professional job and I believe the clock was stolen to order by someone supplying the antique or railway curio trade.

"Nothing else in the station was taken, moved or even touched as far as we can tell.''

The clock is 16 inches in diameter and has roman numerals and the insignia across the face. The numerals VI and XI are scratched and more faded than from I to V. It has a black box surround and a lead home-made pendulum weight and a scratch-ed glass face.

A Keighley police spokesman said the thief was seen making his getaway in the early hours of Sunday by a neighbour who was alerted by the station alarm.

The thief is described as short and stocky. He drove off in a Japanese make of car. Anyone with information should telephone 01535 604261.

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